When healthcare needs impact the school day, an Individual Health Plan can be written as a related service provided by an IEP or as an accommodation under a Section 504 Plan. The school nurse helps identify students whose health needs affect their daily functioning and their ability to access the school curriculum. This usually includes students who:
- Are medically fragile
- Require complex health care support
- Need frequent and / or potential emergency contacts with a school nurse or other provider
- Have health care needs addressed on a daily basis
The Individual Health Plan is developed by the school nurse. This care plan should be written with the input and approval of the primary care physician and / or your child's other health providers. The plan identifies the medical needs that the child has at school and how those needs will be met. The team should look at the nature and complexity of the health care need, such as suctioning, ventilator support or tube feeding and recommend the level of nursing or assistive personnel required to ensure the health and safety of the child.
The team should consider supports needed during the entire school day, including the classroom, physical education, the school bus, behavior needs, field trips, and extracurricular activities.
Your school is obligated to provide the necessary school health services without cost to you. However, the school can ask you to pay for part or all of the health services through a financial assistance program such as your Medicaid, private insurance or other sources of funding, but only if this will not reduce your benefits or create additional cost to you. It is up to you to decide whether you will use these outside resources.
The Individual Health Plan will often require frequent updating as changes in the child's medical condition and needs occur. You can request an IEP or 504 Plan meeting at any time to address your concerns.